Emergency Action Plan
What is an Emergency Action Plan and why is it important?
Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) contain vital information on policies and procedures that should be taken during a potentially catastrophic event. While emergencies are rarely predictable, they do occur and the response that occurs in the first 5-10 minutes will likely dictate the outcome. Everyone involved needs to be educated on, have access to and rehearse the EAP. Rehearsal should occur at least annually, but the more frequent the rehearsals, the more efficient the response when an emergency arises.
Once an EAP is established, it is imperative that it is implemented effectively via posted copies/distribution, education on the EAP for all personnel, and routine rehearsals of the EAP.
OSHA Preparation Recommendations to Employers for Heat-Related Illness
- Have a plan in case a worker experiences heat-related illness.
- Make sure medical services are available and that workers know what to do if a fellow worker has signs and symptoms of heart-related illness.
- Be prepared to provide first aid for any heat-related illness and call emergency services (e.g., call 911) if a worker shows signs and symptoms of heat stroke.
- Be able to provide clear and precise directions to the worksite.
- Immediately respond to symptoms of possible heat-related illness - move the worker into the shade, loosen the clothing, wet and fan the skin, place ice-packs in the armpits and on the neck. Give the worker something to drink. Call emergency services if the worker loses consciousness or appears confused or uncoordinated. Have someone stay with an ill worker.
- Ensure that emergency procedures are used whenever appropriate.
- Develop a plan to reschedule or terminate work if conditions become too risky.
Components and Standards of a Medical Emergency Action Plan for Occupational Settings
- The EAP is developed and coordinated with local EMS, company safety officials, and any onsite medical personnel
- The EAP is distributed and reviewed by all workers annually in addition to upon the start of employment
- Each location (lab, active work site, etc) that employees work has its own location specific EAP
- The EAP identifies location of onsite emergency equipment
- The EAP identifies personnel and their responsibilities to carry out the plan of action with designated chain of command
- The EAP lists contact information for EMS and other key personnel, as well as facility address, location, GPS coordinates
- The EAP provides recommendations for documentation that should be taken after a catastrophic incident
- The EAP is rehearsed annually by employees and other pertinent medical personnel
- The EAP includes information for health care professionals providing medical car which is included in the review and rehearsal
- The EAP is updated annually by all relevant employees
- The EAP is posted at every worksite